DemDaily #tbt: The Brokered Convention, Like it was 1948

The 2016 Republican presidential contest has set the stage, for the first time in 68 years, for a brokered convention.

brokered convention occurs when no singled candidate has won enough committed delegates during the presidential primaries and caucuses to have a majority during the first vote at a party's nominating convention.

The nomination is then "brokered" between candidates, party elites and delegates (who may change their vote at convention) until one candidate receives a majority on the convention floor. The negotiation over the potential vice presidential nominee can also play a major role.

Needed to win: A simple majority, or 1,237, of the total 2,472 delegates by the time the final state primary contests complete in June.

Add to the mix: under the GOP's "Rule 40" implemented in 2012, a candidate must "demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight or more states."  Although a temporary rule, it prevents a new candidate (aka Mitt Romney) from riding into the convention to save the day.

Although rare under today's primary system, political party conventions were once routinely brokered.  

The last time? 

For Republicans it was in 1948, which also was the first televised convention, when Governor Thomas Dewey (NY) won the nomination on the third ballot over Senator Robert Taft (Ohio) and former Governor Harold Stassen (MN).  Dewey later lost the general contest to Harry S. Truman. 

For the Dems, it was 1952 - the last time a presidential nomination went beyond the first round of balloting.  Senator Estes Kefauver (TN) led the race after the primaries, but not the first floor ballot. On the third ballot Governor Adlai Stevenson, with the backing of outgoing President Truman, emerged with the nomination. Stevenson went on to lose the general to Eisenhower. 

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Under any circumstances, 2016 promises to be a historical election.

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